This post has a bittersweet edge to it, as my reason for visiting Colorado was that my wonderful housemate Rachel moved back to her hometown of Lakewood, CO. I had a great time visiting another part of the country and am so thankful to my thoughtful and fun tour guides, Rachel and her parents Dave and Kathy. Rachel and I did survive the 18-hour drive, even through the barrenness of Wyoming. Here are some pictures with captions from the trip:
The beautiful Grand Lake up in the mountains west of Denver. Rachel, her parents, and I went kayaking and canoeing on this lake for two hours, as you can see below. It was fantastic! When I was in Denver, it was really, really hot, so it was great to be near water.
The Miedemas' dog, Tasha, enjoyed the canoe with us in her pink life jacket. I tried to recall my sea-faring (or lake-faring) jargon, but all I could remember was starboard, port, and poop deck (from Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis). I'll have to work on that. :)
The Miedemas have a beautiful garden with some heirloom tomatoes. This picture shows a mix of two kinds; I think they were called Cherokee Purple and Black Krim. I'm growing heirloom tomatoes in my garden this year, so I particularly enjoyed eating these. Oh man, did I have good food on this trip...grilled bread salad, turkey sandwiches with Gouda cheese, fresh garden tomatoes and cucumbers, Kathy's homemade scones with lots of jam, BLTs, ice cream, and more. It was great!!
On Friday, we took a lovely hike about 45 minutes from Lakewood (above two pictures). We hiked up to a rock outcropping and had great views of the surrounding mountains that seem to roll on forever. I even got to see a little lizard!
After the hike, we drove into the town of Evergreen and ate lunch by the lake. There was a charming Nature Center by the lake's edge with a huge elk head on the wall with this sign. I stared at that elk for a good minute trying to think of a name. If you can see up in the right-hand corner of the picture, I decided on Ernie. I like the alliteration. Wouldn't it be funny if they picked my name?!
After lunch at the lake, we toured the Hiwan Historical Museum and House, owned by two families over the course of 150-ish years. The orignial wife-owner of the house was one of the first female doctors in the area...very impressive! I can't remember the last time I was in a museum. I went to SO many museums when I studied abroad in England four years ago that I was pretty museumed-out. But that's been a while now, thankfully! I very much enjoyed this tour.
Rachel and her parents live close to the Red Rocks Amphitheater that you can see behind me. There are obviously lots of concerts in the summer because we went three times and each time couldn't get to the main amphitheater because they were preparing for a concert. But we were able to peek around the side from a viewpoint. The red rocks were stunning. There's nothing like it in Portland or Spokane, so it was a treat to experience.
Rachel's mom set out this beautiful vase of garden zinnias in my room. We spent time every evening watching the Olympics. It was great fun!
This is a beautiful early-morning view of the mountains near Bozeman where Rachel and I stayed on Sunday night after the first leg of our trip. It was hazy most of the week because of wildfires, but it made the sunsets and sunrises especially striking.
Of course, this is only a sliver of all I did on my vacation. It was a wonderful, relaxing week, and I am so thankful for the opportunity. We also had fun eating at a Middle Eastern restaurant called Ali Baba, working out at the Y, taking a bike ride, touring downtown Denver, walking by the river in downtown Golden, and more. Thank you Dave, Kathy, and Rachel!
The trip also prepared me well for my family's epic drive down to Azusa, California, to take my sister Julie to college this coming week. I'll be sure to post about that when I come back. Pray that I can fit everything for our drive in one reusable grocery bag and that my parents and I particularly survive two eighteen-hour drives in a week. It's going to be rough. :o) But we're so excited to experience Azusa with Julie!
May God bless you with many happy moments as the summer comes to a close!